WILTON — Selectmen agreed Tuesday by a 3-to-1 vote to accept a contract addendum for Assistant Town Manager Barbara Vining that allows her to retire from the state retirement program and continue as a newly hired employee of the town.

Selectman Thomas Saviello, absent during the discussion, later said that his vote would have made it 4 to 1. Selectman Terry Brann cast the no vote.

Brann said he did not agree with a weekly $35 deposit to a retirement plan included in the addendum and voted to not accept it.

“It doesn’t settle well with me,” he said.

“Any new hire gets that,” said Linda Bureau, Teamsters 340 union representative for office employees.

Employees either receive that amount for their own IRA or the state retirement fund.

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Vining, who has been in the state retirement program for 40 years, wanted to officially retire and continue her present job as full-time assistant town manager, deputy town clerk and deputy tax collector.

After several executive sessions over the past six months, the board drafted a proposal allowing Vining to continue as a newly hired employee. The board was expected to vote at their Aug. 20 meeting until Brann requested further discussion in an executive session to consider concerns people had brought to him. The board agreed.

Vining was dismayed the following day, expecting a decision after she agreed to the terms negotiated with the board. She thought negotiations were done and that the board would only vote on it, she said at the time, so she did not attend.

Under the addendum, the normal probation period for new employees would be waived and Vining would retain her present salary of $18.05 per hour, along with a $35 deposit to a retirement plan of her choosing, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said at the August meeting.

“This is what you drafted,” Bureau told the board Tuesday. “We didn’t change a thing.”

At the August meeting, resident Raymond Lagasse had been allowed to question the trend of people retiring but continuing to work. However, when Lagasse began to speak on the matter Tuesday, the board declined public comment, based on it being a personnel matter.

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Later in the meeting, resident Alyce Mayo-Lagasse questioned this decision. Unlike many other residents who have called selectmen over the past two weeks, Mayo-Lagasse said she waited to speak to the board Tuesday.

Until the August meeting, discussions had taken place in executive sessions, but selectmen are required to vote in public.

“It’s been made public and is on the agenda,” she said. “As a taxpayer, I should be able to speak on something.”

Selectmen explained that it was not a public hearing but a selectmen’s meeting.

This board’s meetings are more open than some boards, Selectman Tom Saviello said.

Mayo-Lagasse suggested that the agenda should indicate which items the public will be allowed to speak about in the meeting.

Board Chairman Scott Taylor was willing to consider the request, but the board asked Irish to check with the Maine Municipal Association first.

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